Amazon

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Edwardsville Resident Sentenced for Bank Robberies in Lebanon and O'Fallon


Marcus J. Thornton, 38, of Edwardsville, Illinois, was sentenced in federal court today to 19 years in prison, for bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Steven D. Weinhoeft, announced. The sentence includes a five-year term of supervised release immediately following Thornton’s imprisonment. Thornton had previously pled guilty to these charges on March 22, 2018 and April 27, 2018.

Documents filed in the U.S. District Court establish that on October 13, 2016, Thornton entered the Regions Bank located at 107 E. Schuetz Street, Lebanon, Illinois, and demanded money from bank tellers. Thornton took a total of $13,710.90 in United States currency before fleeing in a vehicle.

On February 9, 2017, Thornton entered the U.S. Bank located at 400 South Lincoln Avenue, O’Fallon, Illinois, brandished a silver and black semi-automatic handgun, and demanded money from bank tellers. Bank tellers gave $10,720 in United States currency to

Thornton, who then put the U.S. currency into a white plastic bag, and fled in a vehicle.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois State Police, and Lebanon and O’Fallon Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel T. Kapsak and James G. Piper, Jr.

Slaton High School Teacher Admits to Enticement of a Minor


         LUBBOCK, Texas — Dustin Ray Leonard, 28, of Lubbock, Texas, appeared yesterday in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant, Jr., and pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

         Leonard faces not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and not less than five years nor more than a lifetime of supervised release.  Leonard has been in custody since his arrest on May 22, 2018, and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

         According to the factual resume filed in the case, on July 16, 2016, Leonard was hired by the Slaton Independent School District (SISD), as a high school teacher and Coach.  On April 12, 2018, the Slaton High School (SHS) and SISD Chief of Police learned of a possible inappropriate relationship that occurred between Leonard and an 11th grade female student, “Jane Doe.” The SISD Superintendent received an audio recording that another student had made of Leonard. In the recording, Leonard was telling a female student about his marital problems. Leonard, after being confronted by SISD about the recording, provided SISD a written letter of resignation, citing personal and family concerns. On May 8, 2018, the SISD school board met and accepted the resignation effective May 18, 2018.

         On May 21, 2018, Slaton Police Department (SPD) was provided information regarding Leonard’s Snapchat account and an inappropriate relationship he was having with Doe. Leonard was later interviewed and admitted that he and Doe had been in a sexual relationship since January 2018.

         The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood leverages federal, state and local resources to better investigate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children.  Project Safe Childhood also prioritizes identifying and rescuing victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”

         The Slaton Police Department, Slaton Independent School District Police Department, the Texas Rangers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution.

Olton Man Admits to Enticement of a Minor


          LUBBOCK, Texas — Jimmy Kit Fields, 37, of Olton, Texas, appeared today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant, Jr., and pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

          Fields faces not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and not less than five years nor more than a lifetime of supervised release.  Fields has been in custody since his arrest on June 15, 2018, and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

          According to the plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, in March 2018, Fields gave Jane Doe, a 13-year-old minor, a cell phone. Jane Doe’s father had suspected an inappropriate relationship between his 13-year-old daughter and Fields, and reported the incident to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) in New Mexico. The RCSO conducted a search on the contents of the cell phone given to Doe by Fields, but were unable to find any evidence of a crime.

          On May 30, 2018, the RCSO responded to a call to investigate a report that Doe was missing. Doe’s parents believed their daughter may be trying to meet with Fields, and believed she had been communicating with him on her laptop computer. Doe later returned to the residence and provided the RCSO the password to her Facebook account.

          A review of Doe’s Facebook account by the RCSO revealed Fields had numerous sexually explicit conversations with Doe since May 29, 2018, and leading up to their contact the following morning at 1:00 a.m. During that contact, Fields provided alcohol to Doe during their encounter. In the factual resume, Fields admitted to having sexual contact with Doe on four occasions.

          The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood leverages federal, state and local resources to better investigate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children.  Project Safe Childhood also prioritizes identifying and rescuing victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”

          The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), the Lamb County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution.